Yakini is an African name that means “honest, truthful lady”. This Yakini Ethiopian cross necklace features different crosses which are commonly worn as protective amulets to avert bad luck. In Ethiopia, social status is indicated by the size and refinement of the cross, and individual designs often identify a wearer with his or her home town or province. Repetitive geometric patterns are typical in Ethiopian art, and the open lattice style pattern is traditionally associated with eternity. The four cardinal points of the cross can be mapped to fourfold systems: the four directions (north, south, east, and west); the four seasons; and the four elements.
Ethiopians used to make the crosses from Maria Teresa Thaler coins, but more recently, they are made from a mix of silver, white and brass metal, giving them varying sheens. Each one is separated by Grey Agate stone on either side, in addition to discs of recycled cow horn beads. The two large elongated beads across both sides of the necklace are also made from recycled cow horn and are hugged by an ostrich egg shell, which adds more earthy organic texture.
Grey Agate has a grounding quality and is believed to harmonise emotional, mental and physical states. It offers strength and is said to provide protection from bad dreams, stress and energy drains. Agates were prized gems in antiquity and have been used in jewellery since Biblical Babylonian times. Here, they bring a sense of calm and subtle beauty, while not detracting from the form of the crosses.
This is a piece that will make a standout statement against a winter polar neck or casual summer shirt, making it a staple that you’ll love coming back to time and time again.